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Species: Astyanax aeneus, Banded Tetra, Penjamo Tetra

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body deep (34-39% SL) oval, very compressed
head 24-32% SL
mouth oblique, terminal
D origin before A origin
shoulder: dark vertical oval spot
rear tail base: black stripe ends in black rhomboid
premaxilla teeth - 2 rows,outer row 3 points
maxilla teeth: 3 points, center point large, robust, 3-4 (1-9)
gill rakers 24 (19-26)
A iii-iv, 26 (22-30)
pectoral reaches over rear insertion pelvic
scales large, smooth, 35 (33-38) on LL
scales LL to D origin 8.3 (8-9)

Astyanax aeneus (Gunther, 1860)

Banded Tetra, Penjamo Tetra

Body a moderately deep oval, tapering to rear, body depth 34-39% SL (in larger fish), strongly compressed; head length 24-32% SL; snout bluntly pointed, shorter than eye; eye large, 41-46% of head, 7.8-10% of SL: mouth oblique opens at front, not upturned; lower lip variable in shape, may be widened and flap-like, with an internal expansion; front bone (premaxilla) of top jaw with 2 rows of teeth, all 3-pointed teeth in outer row, rear (maxilla) bone with 3-4 (1-9) teeth; gill rakers 24 (19-26); dorsal fin ii, 8-9, end of dorsal fin base over anal fin origin; a small, short-based adipose dorsal fin on tail base above rear end of anal fin; anal rays iii-iv, 26 (22-30); pectoral i-ii, 10-14, extends back to over rear insertion of pelvic fin; lateral line complete, 35 (33-38) scales; scales between lateral line and dorsal fin origin 8.3 (8-9); breeding males with tubercles on scales of nape and upper head, and over much of body, and with bony hooks on all fins.

Upper head and upper 1/3 of body greenish brown, lower parts silvery white, an abrupt junction between the two colors along the side of the body; upper part of eyeball red; a dark, vertically oval humeral blotch behind top corner of operculum; an indistinct black stripe along center of rear of tail base expands to a rhomboidal black blotch at end of the base, extends as a black stripe to end of center of tail fin, color stronger on fin than body; front rays of dorsal and anal fins and tail fin usually with yellow to orange pigment.

Reaches 14 cm

Lives in coastal streams, lakes and coastal lagoons, in brackish water and mangroves; forms schools, migrates in streams.

Depth range 0-5m?

Mexico to Panama.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Bony fishes
  • Insects
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 14
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5